CANADA STOCKS-Fed fears pull TSX lower, banks lead retreat

Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:55am EDT
 
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* TSX falls 43.50 points, or 0.35 percent, to 12,233.63
    * Six of 10 main index sectors decline
    * BlackBerry rises 2 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, June 14 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
dropped in choppy trade on Friday, led down by declines in
financial and materials shares as investors digested U.S.
economic data and continued to fret about a possible rollback in
central bank stimulus programs.
    The index retreated from a sharp jump in the previous
session and remained firmly in the red for the year.
    U.S. producer prices rose more than expected in May as
gasoline and food prices rebounded, but underlying inflation
pressures remained muted, which could argue against an early
scaling back of monetary stimulus by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
 
    Fed officials will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss
the future of the central bank's $85 billion a month bond-buying
program.
    "The market is looking for some signs about the future of
monetary policy," said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief
operating officer at RKH Investments. "We're basically going to
sit on our hands until the Fed makes its pronouncement next
week."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 43.50 points, or 0.35 percent, at 12,233.63.
Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were lower.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, lost
0.3 percent. In the group, Royal Bank of Canada, the
country's biggest lender, gave back 0.5 percent to C$60.26 and
played the biggest role of any single stock in leading the index
lower. Toronto-Dominion Bank slipped 0.6 percent to
C$81.73.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, declined
0.6 percent. A fall in the price of bullion pulled gold-mining
stocks lower. Goldcorp Inc was down 2 percent at C$28.35.
 
    Smartphone maker BlackBerry climbed 2.2 percent to
C$15.02 and had one of the biggest positive influences on the
market. The stock also gained on Thursday after a brokerage
upgrade.